Constructive Dynamical Systems

  • Peter Dittrich (Universität Jena, Bio Systems Analysis Group)
A3 02 (Seminar room)


Systems where something new suddenly appears have always fascinated mankind. A series of fundamental scientific questions are linked with these systems, such as, were does novelty come from? or, how to explain novelty and its potential dynamics? Obviously, innovation plays an important role in our world. However, most of our formal theories that describe parts of our world do not deal with innovations. In the flavor of a structural science (S. Artmann, Philosphia naturalis, 40:183-205, 2003) I present a transdisciplinary perspective of systems that change qualitatively. Inspired by Fontana and Buss (Bull. Math. Biol., 56:1-64, 1994) we call such systems "constructive". A constructive system is a system where new component types can appear and disappear, i.e., where the set of component types present in the system is not constant over time. From a general point of view there is a huge variety of constructive systems.

They appear in Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, and Social Sciences, just to a name a few. Apparently, I do not intent to present a solution covering all problems. Rather the theory I present is meant to provide a pice that may eventually contribute to a general theory of constructive systems.